Soon after appeared his twelve plates of "Industry and Idleness," and in 1753 he published a work called "The Analysis of Beauty," in which he attempted to prove that the foundation of beauty and grace consists in a flowing serpentine line. He gave numerous examples of it, and supported his theory with much ingenious argument. The book brought down upon him a perfect tempest of critical abuse from his envious and enraged contemporaries. In 1757 he visited France, and being engaged in sketching in Calais, he was seized and underwent very rough treatment from "the politest nation in the world," under an impression that he was employed by the English government to make drawings of the fortifications. This adventure he has commemorated in his picture of "Calais Gate." In the following year he painted his "Sigismunda."Grenville, chagrined as he was, still clung to the Government, and called in the Duke of Bedford as President of the Council, Lord Sandwich as Secretary of State. Lord Hillsborough succeeded Lord Shelburne at the Board of Trade. Such was the Government which was to supersede the necessity of Pitt; Lord Chesterfield declaring that they could not meet the Parliament, for that they had not a man in the Commons who had either abilities or words enough to call a coach.With Spain the prospect of war became every day more imminent. Stanhope quitted that country, and the Spanish Government ordered the seizure of the Prince Frederick, a ship belonging to the South Sea Company. Twenty thousand men were assembled and sent against Gibraltar. All attempts on the great fortress were as useless as former ones had been. The English regarded the attack with even an air of indifference, whilst their guns, sickness, and desertion, were fast cutting off the besiegers. In four months the investing army, being reduced to half its number, drew off with this empty but destructive result.
[See larger version]Poland, abandoned to her own resources, made a brave but ineffectual defence. The Russians received several severe checks in their advance. At Zadorsk, at Palorma, and finally at Dulienska, the Poles fought them gallantly. At the last-named battle, on the 17th of July, the heroic Kosciusko made terrible havoc of the Russian lines, and was only prevented from utterly routing them by his flank being turned by another arrival of Russians, whom the Emperor Francis, of Austria, had allowed to march through Galicia. The Russians advanced to Warsaw, took regular possession of it, and of all the towns and military forts throughout the country. They dismissed the patriot officers of the army, and dispersed the army itself in small divisions into widely-separated places. They abolished the new Constitution, thrust the burgher class again out of their newly-acquired privileges, and put the press under more ignominious restrictions than before. They confiscated the estates of nobles who had advocated the new reforms. Both Catherine and her Ministers treated the idea of any partition of Poland as the most groundless and ridiculous of notions. They pointed to the invasion of Germany already by Custine, the French Revolutionary general, and justified the temporary occupation of Poland as necessary to the security of both Poland and the neighbouring states. We must leave the three robber Powers, Russia, Prussia, and Austria, therefore, gloating over their prey, and ready to rend it asunder, in order to continue the narrative of the wild explosion of France.
The enemy's fleets being thus destroyed or shut up, Pitt determined on his great enterprise, the conquest of Canada. The idea was worthy of his genius. His feeble predecessors had suffered the French from this neighbouring colony to aspire to the conquest of our North American territory. They had built strong forts on the lakes and down the valley of the Ohio; they intended to connect them with the Mississippi, and then to drive us out of the country. Had not Pitt come into office they might probably have succeeded. But Pitt had already commenced the driving in of the French outposts, and he now planned the complete expulsion of that nation from their advanced posts and from Canada itself. His scheme had three parts, which were all to concentrate themselves into one grand effort—the taking of Quebec, the capital. It was a daring enterprise, for Canada was ably governed and defended by Marshal de Montcalm, a man of great military experience and talent, and highly esteemed for his noble character by the colonists and the Indians, vast tribes of whom he had won over to his interest by his courtesy and conciliatory manner, whilst the English had as much disgusted them by their haughty surliness. But Pitt had picked his men for the occasion, and especially for the grand coup-de-main, the taking of Quebec. He formed his whole plan himself, and though it was not perfect, and was greatly criticised by military men, it succeeded though not in effecting the combination which he contemplated, in all its parts.But the royal family put no faith in these professions; they resolved not to wait the arrival of the French, but to muster all the money and valuables that they could, and escape to their South American possessions. Whilst these preparations were being made in haste, the British traders collected their property and conveyed it on board British vessels. The inhabitants of the British factory, so long established in Lisbon, had quitted it on the 18th of October, amid the universal regret of the people. The ambassador, Lord Strangford, took down the British arms, and went on board the squadron of Sir Sidney Smith, lying in the Tagus. On the 27th of November the royal family, amid the cries and tears of the people, went on board their fleet, attended by a great number of Portuguese nobility; in all, about one thousand eight hundred Portuguese thus emigrating. The Prince Regent accompanied them, sensible that his presence could be of no service any longer. The fleet of the royal emigrants was still in the Tagus, under the safe protection of Sir Sidney Smith's men-of-war, when Junot and his footsore troops entered Lisbon, on the 1st of December. He was transported with rage when he saw their departing sails, for he had received the most imperative injunctions to secure the person of the Prince Regent, from whom Napoleon hoped to extort the cession of the Portuguese American colonies. Junot declared that the Prince Regent and royal family, having abandoned the country, had ceased to reign, and that the Emperor Napoleon willed that it should henceforth be governed, in his name, by the General-in-chief of his army. This proclamation of the 2nd of February set aside at once the conditions of the Treaty of Fontainebleau; the imaginary princedom of Godoy was no more heard of, and the kingdom erected for the King of Etruria remained a mere phantom at the will of Buonaparte. The property of the royal family, and of all who had followed them, was confiscated; a contribution of four million five hundred thousand pounds sterling was laid on a people of less than three millions, and as there was not specie enough to pay it, plate and every kind of movable property was seized in lieu of it, without much regard to excess of quantity. The officers became money-brokers and jobbers in this property, much of which was sent to Paris for sale, and the whole unhappy country was a scene of the most ruthless rapine and insult.
But the matter was not to be thus peacefully ended. Before Lord Exmouth had cleared out of the Mediterranean, the Algerines—not in any concert with their Government but in an impulse of pure fanaticism—had rushed down from their castle at Bona on the Christian inhabitants of the town, where a coral fishery was carried on chiefly by Italians and Sicilians, under protection of a treaty made by Britain, and under that of her flag, and committed a brutal massacre on the fishermen, and also pulled down and trampled on the British flag, and pillaged the house of the British vice-consul.
"It was always," said Mr. Brougham, "the queen's sad fate to lose her best stay, her strongest and surest protection, when danger threatened her; and by a coincidence most miraculous in her eventful history, not one of her intrepid defenders was ever withdrawn from her without that loss being the immediate signal for the renewal of momentous attacks upon her honour and her life. Mr. Pitt, who had been her constant friend and protector, died in 1806. A few weeks after that event took place, the first attack was levelled at her. Mr. Pitt left her as a legacy to Mr. Perceval, who became her best, her most undaunted, her firmest protector. But no sooner had the hand of an assassin laid prostrate that Minister, than her Royal Highness felt the force of the blow by the commencement of a renewed attack, though she had but just been borne through the last by Mr. Perceval's skilful and powerful defence of her character. Mr. Whitbread then undertook her protection; but soon that melancholy catastrophe happened which all good men of every political party in the State, he believed, sincerely and universally lamented. Then came with Mr. Whitbread's dreadful loss the murmuring of that storm which was so soon to burst with all its tempestuous fury upon her hapless and devoted head. Her child still lived, and was her friend; her enemies were afraid to strike, for they, in the wisdom of the world, worshipped the rising sun. But when she lost that amiable and beloved daughter, she had no protector; her enemies had nothing to dread; innocent or guilty, there was no hope, and she yielded to the entreaty of those who advised her residence out of this country. Who, indeed, could love persecution so steadfastly as to stay and brave its renewal and continuance, and harass the feelings of the only one she loved so dearly by combating such repeated attacks, which were still reiterated after the echo of the fullest acquittal? It was, however, reserved for the Milan Commission to concentrate and condense all the threatening clouds which were prepared to burst over her ill-fated head; and as if it were utterly impossible that the queen could lose a single protector without the loss being instantaneously followed by the commencement of some important step against her, the same day which saw the remains of her venerable Sovereign entombed—of that beloved Sovereign who was, from the outset, her constant father and friend—that same sun which shone upon the monarch's tomb ushered into the palace of his illustrious son and successor one of the perjured witnesses who were brought over to depose against her Majesty's life.WASHINGTON CROSSING THE DELAWARE. (See p. 235.)
This was a thunderstroke to Newcastle—Legge, who had been so pliant, thus to rebel. Newcastle, in his consternation, hastened to Pitt, imploring him to use his influence with Legge, and promising him the Seals as Secretary, engaging to remove all prejudice from the king's mind. But not only Pitt, but the public, had been long asking whether, in these critical times, everything was to be sacrificed for the sake of this old grasping jobber at the Treasury? whether Newcastle was to endanger the whole nation by keeping out of office all men of talent? Pitt stood firm: no offers, no temptations, could move him. Newcastle, finding Pitt unmanageable, flew to Fox, who accepted the Seals on condition of having proper powers conceded to him, and agreed to support the treaties, against which he had been equally as violent as Pitt, having just before said to Dodington, "I am surprised you are not against all subsidies." Robinson was consoled with a pension of two thousand pounds a year and the post of Master of the Wardrobe. The king had returned from Hanover, and Fox was not to receive the Seals till two days after the meeting of Parliament, so that he might keep his place and support the Address. By his accession to office he changed the violence of the opposition of the Duke of Bedford, and brought the support of the Russells to the Ministry. This strength, however, did not prevent the certainty of a breakup of the Cabinet. Pitt was now arrayed against his former colleagues.Exasperated at the failure of this measure, a furious mob broke into the Irish House of Commons on the 15th of April, but they were soon quelled, and two of the ringleaders seized. The magistrates of Dublin were censured for observing the gathering of the mob and taking no measures to prevent its outbreak. The printer and supposed publisher of the Volunteers' Journal were called before the House and reprimanded, and a Bill was brought in and passed, to render publishers more amenable to the law. The spirit of violence still raged through the country. Tumultuous associations were formed under the name of Aggregate Bodies.
We have stated that the spirit rising again in Germany called Buonaparte suddenly from Spain, even before Soult had pursued Sir John Moore to Corunna. At Valladolid he met the Abbé de Pradt, who had risen high in Buonaparte's favour. To De Pradt, he said he began to suspect that he had made his brother Joseph a grander present in Spain than he was aware of. "I did not know," he said, "what Spain was; it is a finer country than I imagined. But you will see that, by-and-by, the Spaniards will commit some folly which will place their country once more at my disposal. I will then take care to keep it to myself, and divide it into five great viceroyships." Such were the soaring notions of Napoleon at the very moment that the man was ready who was to drive the French from Spain for ever. In England, at last, almost every one had now awoke to the consciousness that Sir Arthur Wellesley was the only man to cope with the French in the Peninsula. There were a few individuals, like Lord Folkestone, who were blinded enough by party to oppose this general conviction; but before the close of March Sir Arthur was selected by the Government for this command. On the 15th of April he sailed from Portsmouth, and on the 22nd he arrived safely at Lisbon. Some regiments of both horse and foot soon followed him, and he assumed the command of the British army in Portugal, which had been some time in the hands of General Sir J. Cradock. The command of the Portuguese troops had been placed in the hands of General Beresford, who had been actively drilling them; and thus General Sir Arthur Wellesley found himself at the head of an effective army of British and Portuguese numbering twenty-five thousand men.[See larger version]详情
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